Boat harbour on Kingston beach would be disaster

The East Preston and Kingston Preservation Society considers that constructing the boat compound on the beach at West Kingston would be a disaster.

It would destroy the character of a particularly beautiful part of the beach, now characterised by a dense growth of vegetation on the shingle, and seen every day by hundreds of walkers who use the path along the shore.

The wire mesh fence around the compound topped by barbed wire, would be more than nine feet tall. It would dominate the beach and the greensward behind it, and block the view of the sea from the footpath.

The Society regards the beach as the most important open space in the two parishes.

Its openness is its abiding characteristic, and no structure should ever be built on the beach. It must always remain open and unspoilt.

The application goes against numerous policies in the Arun Local Plan. The site is outside the built up area, where the only development that might be approved would be sea defences.

A planning application for a shelter for one boat was rejected in 2015 and the refusal was upheld on appeal, because the small shelter, less than one metre high, was considered to harm the open character of the beach and was therefore contrary to policy GEN7 of the Local Plan. An enclosure 2.85 metres high to accommodate 60 boats, which includes a building 13.6 metres long, must also be contrary to planning policy.

There are also practical problems about the site: the roads approaching it are private, and the owners have said that they will not provide the Open Dinghy Club with the right to use them.

There is a section of car park between the road west of the site, South Strand, which is attached to the house south of it, and its owner, Caroline Bond, has said she will not allow the club to cross her land.

So the site can only be reached on foot or from the sea, and construction of the enclosure and building seems impossible.

I would be interested to know how George Schlick thinks it can be done!

David Sawers

Chairman

East Preston and Kingston Preservation Society

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